Ferdinand snubs Terry and Cole in handshake drama
The feud between Anton Ferdinand and John Terry continued on Saturday when the Queens Park Rangers defender ignored the Chelsea captain in the pre-match handshake before the 0-0 Premier League draw at Loftus Road.
Ferdinand also shunned Chelsea defender Ashley Cole, who gave evidence on his teammate’s behalf when Terry was found not guilty in court in July of racially abusing the QPR player during the corresponding league fixture last season.
Rangers skipper Park Ji-sung also refused to shake Terry’s hand on two occasions, during the pre-match ritual and at the coin toss.
Saturday’s meeting was the first between the west London rivals since the court case.
The FA ruled on Friday the handshake would go ahead as normal after it was abandoned in an FA Cup tie between the teams in January and was also dropped when they met in the return league match in April last season at Stamford Bridge.
Roberto Di Matteo, manager of league leaders Chelsea, said the media were responsible for the hype surrounding the handshake before the game.
“Of course there are going to be emotions running high in a game like this because of the rivalry between the two clubs but I think all the players out there today behaved very professionally and showed the right attitude,” he said.
“As far as we are concerned our players offered their hands and if somebody on the other side doesn’t want to receive it then we move on.
FOCUS ON FOOTBALL
“But I think the media can play a big part in stopping writing and talking about it and focus more on the football which everybody loves,” the Italian added.
QPR manager Mark Hughes repeated after the game what he has said many times before — that he thought the handshake ritual should be scrapped — and added he was pleased with the way his new-look team performed and was satisfied with a point from the game.
“Chelsea are the European champions and they caused us problems today but if we had taken our chances, which we created a number of, we could possibly have taken the three points,” said Hughes, a former Stamford Bridge teammate of Di Matteo’s.
“The important thing for me is to make the sure the improvement in performance continues and that happened today,” he added of Rangers who have yet to record a win in four league games this season.
“I didn’t actually see the handshake, I was coming down the tunnel with Roberto. It was something everyone else was focusing on but we weren’t.
“My players had a discussion before the game and I was made aware that some of them were prepared to shake hands and some weren’t. I didn’t get involved in that and I didn’t push the point,” said Hughes.
“It was a personal choice for everyone involved... but i just think this element of the ‘Respect’ campaign creates more problems than it solves. I don’t think that was the intention when the campaign was introduced.”